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delicacy of Guido, the beautiful colouring and striking delineations of Claude, and the keen satire of Teniers. In the private collection of Mr. Hope, (son-in-law to the archbishop of Tuato,) there are many celebrated paintings of Raphael, Tintoretto, Titian and Poussin. Hope is extremely rich, and devotes a great part of his fortune to the indulgence of his prurigo picturarum, which is scmewhat better than the true British taste for hounds and horses!
A few days ago I paid a visit to Oxford.This city is truly magnificent, and the streets are the cleanest in England. The University is a corporate body; the highest officer in the corporation is the chancellor, who is always a distinguished nobleman and a member of the University. Lord Grenville now holds that high station. This venerable institution has existed from the commencement of the English monarchy, and has been gradually strengthened into its present splendour by the munificence of successive generations of kings and nobles.
“ The schools of Oxford and Cambridge, (observes the elegant Gibbon,) were founded in a dark age of false and barbarous science; and they are still tainted with the vices of their origin. Their primitive discipline was adapted to the education of priests and monks; and the government still remains in the hands of the clergy, an order of men whose manners are remote from the present world, and whose eyes are dazzled by the light of philosophy.
The legal incorporation of these societies by the charters of popes and kings, had given them a monopoly of the public instruction; and the spirit of monopolists is narrow, lazy and oppressive. We may scarcely hope that any reformation will be a voluntary act; and so deeply are they rooted in law and prejudice, that even the omnipotence of Parliament would shrink from an inquiry into the state and abuses of the two Universities.”
The University is composed of 20 colleges, dispersed in various parts of the city, at short distances from each other. The dress of the members of the corporation and of the students is different, according to the grade or rank of the person. I do not intend detailing the curiosities of the numerous colleges. That of Christ Church takes the lead of all the others. This college was endowed and built at the expense of Cardinal Wolsey. In the chapel is the superb shrine of St. Frideswide, done with fantastic figures exquisitely wrought. The walks on the banks of the Cherwell belonging to Magdalen College, possess great amenity. The shade they afford, the variety of objects they command, the stream along whose different branches they wind, and the charming promenade called Addison's Walk,-compose a most delightful academic retreat.
The Bodleian Library is enriched with a noble collection of classical works, illuminated MS., &c. for the use of all the colleges: I
amused myself for a couple of hours in this library,
“Wbose gloomy aisles and bending shelves contain
For moral punger food, and cures for moral pain." The silence and order which prevailed, recalled to my recollection the Royal Bibliothèque at Paris-only the librarian did not display quite so much liberality and politeness as the stranger meets with in the Parisian receptacles of learning
The Picture Gallery contains, among a variety of trash, some fine paintings, viz. copies of Raphael's 7 cartoons by Thornhill, and the Athens School by Julio Romano. The new College only receives students from the Winchester school. A delightful pleasure ground is attached to it, in which is the famous walk
matrimonial trees, so called because they are connected together by the branches of one tree being ingrafted in the body of the other.
The expenses of a University education are so enormous, that none but those blessed with a competent fortune can hope to enjoy its advantages; every one knows the hardships that poor Henry Kirke White endured, in order to go through the collegiate courses. The magnificence of the different colleges must infuse some of its noble spirit into the humblest being whose mind is cultivated within their walls. The student is lodged in a palace; and when he walks abroad, his eyes are fed on every side, (says the author of " Peter's Let
ters,") with the most splendid assemblages of architectural pomp and majesty which Great Britain can display. Here the memory of kings and heroes, and saints and martyrs, are mingled for ever with those of poets and philosophers; and the spirit of the place walks visible, shedding all around one calm and lofty inftuence, alike refreshing to the affections and to the intellect-an influence which blends together, in indissoluble union, all the finest elements of patriotism and loyalty and religion!
The Radcliffe Library is one of the most splendid ornaments of Oxford. It was built according to the directions left by Dr. Radcliffe in his' will—40,0001. were consumed in the building, which is a superb rotunda in the temple style. Among the ornaments are a couple of Roman candlesticks, found at Tivoli in the ruins of the emperor Adrian's palace. The books of this library chiefly refer to the various branches of medical philosophy. In 1814, the Prince Regent, the Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, the Duke of York, Duchess of Oldenburgh, and a splendid party of 200, honoured the Radcliffe library with their presence. A magnificent dinner was prepared for the royal visiters in the grand hall, the surrounding gallery being reserved for the “profanum vulgus." LL. AA. RR and II. afterwards entered the theatre of the University, which is a very fine edifice. It was built by Sir Christopher Wren in his best style, being'imitateal from the famous amphitheatre of
Marcellus at Rome—it contains 3500 persons. Madame Catalani, who was of the royal party, said that she never sang in a house, better cal. culated for the display of the voice. The ceil. ing has the appearance of painted canvas stretched over gilded cordage.
On the 14th June, 1814, degrees of M. A.. were presented to the Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, Metternich, Blucher and others equally deserving. This is intolerable. “Let painted Flattery hide her serpent train in flowers;" but it is kissing the very toe of royalty to give the rewards of learning to emi. nent ignorance. Credite posteri! Oxford, which stripped Locke of a studentship, and Johnson of a degree,* has bestowed its honours on that ignorant, sanguinary Goth, Blucher!
As I walked through the different lecture rooms, I often thought of St. Mary's College, Baltimore," where once my careless childhood stray'd, a stranger yet to pain.” I contrasted the awful grandeur and solemn pomp of this
* The gates of the University were shut against the celebrated Gibbon, because be turned Roman Catholic; he afterwards emerged from superstition to infidelity!" To the University of Oxford 1 acknowledge no obligation; and she will as cheerfully renounce me for a son, as I am willing to disclaim her for a mother. I spent 14 months at Magdalen College; they proved the 14 months the most idle and unprofitable of my whole life: the reader will pronounce between the school and the scholar; but I cannot affect to believe that Nature had disqualified me for all literary pursuits. In my 16th year, I was not devoid of capacity or application; even my childish reading had displayed an early, though blind propensity for books; and the shallow fuid might have been taught to flow in a deep channel and a clear stream."
GIBBON'S Memoirs of his Life and Writings.